Nate Abernethy has trekked up to the great white North for the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, a celebration of all things genre, gore and horror with entire nights wholly dedicated to fulfilling your zombie or werewolf lust depending on which way you swing (we don’t judge). Things are just getting started today so here’s his list of Top 5 Most Anticipated Films.
There are some guaranteed good times kicking off the festival, but it was the Sunday midday screening of the mysterious The Drownsman that most piqued our interest. A self-described spiritual successor to A Nightmare On Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger is quite the boast, particularly to this Elm Street fanatic. Sink or swim The Drownsman has intrigued me enough to take up ninety minutes of my Sunday.
Kumiko the Treasure Hunter
Monday’s late night brings a truly gorgeous film I caught back during SXSW for Comics Bulletin. Kumiko The Treasure Hunter will win the hearts of many, frustrate some but leave a lasting impression for all. Rinko Kikuchi shines as the titular Kumiko with a performance that could have easily seemed heavyhanded or pedantic in lesser hands as she wholeheartedly searches for a fictional treasure featured in the film Fargo. With Kumiko the Treasure Hunter, the Zellner brothers have added another classic to their catalogue.
I’m really the worst person to be covering a horror film festival. I’m a total snob when it comes to the spooks and scares and will avoid the purposefully playful and tongue in cheek for the delusional, intelligent and high concept. Luckily for me, Tuesday brings a batch of time travel flicks with Predestination kicking things off. I will go to my grave the biggest advocate of 2009’s Daybreakers. A perfect film? Hell no, but by far the boldest and most original effort in the vampire genre in years that also succeeds as far as pure entertainment value. Aussie directors Peter & Michael Spierig have reunited with Ethan Hawke for what seems to be a Looper and The Adjustment Bureau mash up.
Tuesday night chugs along strong with indie underdog Time Lapse snagging fans left and right. Voyeuristic and suspenseful, Time Lapse reveals a glimpse into the future for our protagonists and delicately and precisely plays out the consequences as they return again and again for another greedy glance.
Let Us Prey
The final night of the fest features my own personal horror goddess. Pollyanna McIntosh has turned in heart pounding and bold performances as the unnamed feral woman in Offspring and The Woman, where it turns out she has more humanity than her civilized captors. Now she stars as an isolated police officer that finds herself the lone defense of a prison siege of supernatural proportions.